View Full Version : KDOT/Amtrack Passenger Rail Study, KC-OKC-DFW



mmonroe
03-11-2010, 02:15 PM
KDOT releases study of passenger rail service between Kansas City and Dallas-Fort Worth | Wichitopekington | Wichita Eagle Blogs (http://blogs.kansas.com/gov/2010/03/11/kdot-releases-study-of-passenger-rail-service-between-kansas-city-and-dallas-fort-worth/)

KDOT releases study of passenger rail service between Kansas City and Dallas-Fort Worth

TOPEKA The state Transportation Department released a study Thursday detailing the potential costs and ridership numbers of four scenarios which would restore passenger rail service to Wichita.

All four routes would connect Kansas City to Oklahoma City and Dallas-Fort Worth and costs range from $156 million to $479 million. The study estimated the plans would attract between 65,900 and 174,000 riders annually.

The full study, including details on the four options with costs and ridership numbers is available at the Kansas Department of Transportation website.

The study was commissioned by Amtrak and the KDOT.

The most expensive option would be daytime service from Kansas City and Dallas-Fort Worth. It is also projected to attract the most riders.

The least expensive option would extend the Heartland Flyer route from Fort Worth up to Newton, where riders would switch trains and take the existing Southwest Chief into Kansas City. That plan, which would run at night would attract 92,500 riders, the study anticipated.

All four plans include stops in Wichita.

At 1:30 p.m., Secretary of Transportation Deb Miller is presenting the study to a joint meeting of the House and Senate Transportation committee.

JohnDenver
03-11-2010, 03:02 PM
We don't need a train to DFW. We need a train to DALLAS. It takes an extra hour, easily, to catch the TRE to Dallas, from the Ft. Worth Amtrak station. It wouldn't be used.

Another option would be to stop in Denton, then catch the DCTA train to Dallas. There isn't a stop in Denton currently...

Kerry
03-11-2010, 07:25 PM
How do people go between Kansas City and Dallas now? Would this new way be cheaper and faster? If not, why use it?

ljbab728
03-11-2010, 11:42 PM
How do people go between Kansas City and Dallas now? Would this new way be cheaper and faster? If not, why use it?

Currently, Kansas City passengers would have to go to St. Louis and then down through Arkansas to Dallas. Minimum times are 21 hours so the new proposal would have to be much faster and less expensive to operate for Amtrak if the traffic volume is there.

Kerry
03-12-2010, 06:59 AM
Currently, Kansas City passengers would have to go to St. Louis and then down through Arkansas to Dallas. Minimum times are 21 hours so the new proposal would have to be much faster and less expensive to operate for Amtrak if the traffic volume is there.

I think most people take an existing jet aircraft. I just checked Southwest.com and you can fly from KC to Dallas in 1 hr 30 minutes and a round trip ticket is as low as $180. There is even an option to change planes in OKC if someone wanted to simulate a HSR route (but it will cost you an extra hour).

LakeEffect
03-12-2010, 07:23 AM
I'm more excited about the potential for a train connection from OKC north. Getting to Newton, Kansas is all I would care about... the Southwest Chief stops there on its way to Chicago or LA. I'd take the Chicago connection to get up toward my hometown in Michigan.

Doing a comparison regarding whether or not this replaces a current travel method (fiscally and in time) is too simplistic. What about those people who are too afraid to fly (or can't because of medical issues, etc.)? What about those who are willing to sacrifice an hour or two of drive time in order to be able to relax or work on their laptop? On a family trip, one person has to be driving, but on a train, the whole family can sit and enjoy themselves, have time together, talk... Talk of rail and alternative travel methods isn't about making them all as efficient as one another, it should be about the balance of methods, providing options, and spreading out capacity. More rail, even if it takes a bit longer, helps reduce maintenance needs and capacity issues on highways and in air travel.

metro
03-12-2010, 08:25 AM
Good points cafeboef. People are missing the nostalgia point of trains. Diversity is key, as the old saying goes "Don't put your eggs all in one basket." What if we have another 911 and air traffic is halted for a day or two? Then everyone can flock to the trains until air traffic gets back to normal, etc. It's just common sense.

fuzzytoad
03-12-2010, 08:32 AM
Good points cafeboef. People are missing the nostalgia point of trains. Diversity is key, as the old saying goes "Don't put your eggs all in one basket." What if we have another 911 and air traffic is halted for a day or two? Then everyone can flock to the trains until air traffic gets back to normal, etc. It's just common sense.

Are you really suggesting that if we have another 911 people should *intentionally* load up on an even more unsecure form of mass transit?

Kerry
03-12-2010, 09:04 AM
Are you really suggesting that if we have another 911 people should *intentionally* load up on an even more unsecure form of mass transit?

How quickly we forget.

2004 Madrid train bombings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Madrid_train_bombings)

7 July 2005 London bombings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_2005_London_bombings)

Richard at Remax
03-12-2010, 09:35 AM
My mother loves amtrak but always has to drive up to newton to get on the southwest chief to go to Sedona, AZ. This is a big deal to her. And even though I prefer flying, I really like the train. I've been to CHI, LA, NYC all on amtrak. Only complaints is that the time tables and schedules are really rough and make you scratch your head.

Kerry
03-12-2010, 09:56 AM
My mother loves amtrak but always has to drive up to newton to get on the southwest chief to go to Sedona, AZ. This is a big deal to her. And even though I prefer flying, I really like the train. I've been to CHI, LA, NYC all on amtrak. Only complaints is that the time tables and schedules are really rough and make you scratch your head.

Tell me about it. I looked at taking AmTrak from Jacksonville to Atlanta (350 miles). It takes 2 day by train because I have to go to Charlotte first.

I just think that if the goverment is going to spend billions on rail they should concentrate on getting people to work 5 days a week using local rail and not so much on getting people on vacations that they take maybe once a year.

The Kansas study said they would have a max 175,000 riders per year. Spend that same money to build local rail in KC, Wichita, and OKC and daily ridership would dwarf that 175,000 rides per year number. Combined, we would get that number every week, if not every day. If ridership is the measuring stick then spend the money where ridership is going to be the max - local rail.

OKCisOK4me
03-12-2010, 10:08 AM
Yeah, Amtrak's NE Corridor is their fastest route because of all the business people that ride the trains between the big cities. It doesn't compute the same way with the rest of the country. It's a laid back form of transportation. It's not about hurrying to get to your destination. It's about enjoying time with your family or enjoying the scenery going by and having a good time. And if you are the business person going down to Dallas for a meeting, you'd have to plan accordingly. Probably a day in advance of the meeting so you can have the time to take the rails, reach your destination (since, as mentioned above, FTW is not the best destination for the DFW metro area) and then make plans accordingly.

mugofbeer
03-12-2010, 12:00 PM
When gasoline goes to $6/gallon and flying to DFW costs $300, will you be so doubtful of a rail option?

Kerry
03-12-2010, 01:31 PM
When gasoline goes to $6/gallon and flying to DFW costs $300, will you be so doubtful of a rail option?

When gas went to $3.00 per gallon, what did the price of electricity do? I know our electric bill went way up. If gas goes to $6.00 per gallon I think you will see a corresponding increase in electricity.

OKCisOK4me
03-12-2010, 03:22 PM
When gas went to $3.00 per gallon, what did the price of electricity do? I know our electric bill went way up. If gas goes to $6.00 per gallon I think you will see a corresponding increase in electricity.

The good thing--trains run on diesel which happens to be priced lower. Even though it may be higher priced, it won't be as high as unleaded so the carry-over to the customer won't be as high. If anything I'd say that extra markup would come from the generating stations themselves.

Do they charge themselves to use electricity? lol I figure they have to get the energy out of coal some way or another and I always see lights on that plant of theirs up by Red Rock!

ljbab728
03-12-2010, 11:11 PM
I think most people take an existing jet aircraft. I just checked Southwest.com and you can fly from KC to Dallas in 1 hr 30 minutes and a round trip ticket is as low as $180. There is even an option to change planes in OKC if someone wanted to simulate a HSR route (but it will cost you an extra hour).

Kerry, it's not quite that simple. Don't forget that you need to be at the airport about one and a half hours before departure minimum. Also, the last time I flew into the DFW airport a couple of weeks ago I had to wait in the plane on the apron about 45 minutes before going to the gate because the plane in our gate hadn't left yet. Flying is great but flight delays can be very frustrating.

betts
03-13-2010, 07:21 AM
While I see the value of both points of view, I have to agree with Kerry. If we have limited resources, and it seems quite obvious we do, I think it is a better use of financial resources, and more environmentally useful, to get people out of their cars on a daily, rather than annual basis.

transport_oklahoma
03-13-2010, 12:25 PM
It is curious, this is the only state I have seen some people see intercity rail and regional/urban rail as an either/or situation. They are funded out of totally different sources. One potentially strengthens the other.

There is the potential to leverage here. The study calls for double track from Oklahoma City to Edmond. You will need this anyway for commuter rail!

All non-business travel is not "leisure" travel. Travel on the Heartland Flyer during the week and you will see what I mean.

Southwest doesn't fly to Ponca City. Neither is it served by a bus. Just one example.

At $3/gallon, the out-of-pocket cost for Amtrak travel generally falls below auto travel. The fare will really seem cheap if you car won't start.

chemalurgy
03-13-2010, 12:31 PM
I picked someone up at the Amtrak in OKC and learned that the building isn't owned by them. Had to park two blocks away and pay $6 because there were no spaces in the Santa Fe Depot lot and no coin parking was available.

betts
03-13-2010, 02:07 PM
I don't see it as either/or, as long as there's enough money for both. The different sources they are funded out of all consist of taxpayer dollars. I simply see city mass transit as most useful and more environmentally friendly. If we have to choose, I'd choose intercity rail....that's all.

Kerry
03-15-2010, 07:28 PM
I don't see it as either/or, as long as there's enough money for both. The different sources they are funded out of all consist of taxpayer dollars. I simply see city mass transit as most useful and more environmentally friendly. If we have to choose, I'd choose intercity rail....that's all.

Betts, that is all I am saying as well. I love trains but money needs to be spent where it will do the most good. Getting people to work 5 days a week is the best use transportation dollars.

BTW - it is either/or. The country is broke and we are on the verge of losing our AAA credit rating. We can't just keep throwing money around like it doesn't matter. If we aren't going to start spending wisely now then we will never start.